Saturday, January 20, 2018

Don’t Let It Happen To You

March 13, 2012 by  
Filed under Blog

Fire Safety Tips for Your Home, Part 1

While it is not uncommon for people to have a false sense of safety and security in their lives and homes, it IS unwise. In the story above, it was a clothes dryer fire that could have taken down an entire house. Don’t get caught up in the “it could never happen to me” mentality. A fire can occur in your home for a variety of reasons. Read the following tips and take them to heart to protect your valuable home and priceless family. Although National Fire Safety Week is in October each year, there is never a bad time to bring up the subject of fire safety, so we are delving in this month.  

There is no excuse for not having smoke detectors in your home. Test them monthly, and change the batteries every six months to ensure they’re fresh and functioning. How many homes have you seen with the smoke detectors disconnected?  Don’t follow suit.  Make sure yours are up (literally) and running!

The National Fire Protection Association reports that over 14,000 fires per year are caused by an improperly vented dryer or by careless maintenance procedures. Clean your clothes dryer’s lint trap after every use to prevent lint build-up, which is flammable. Your dryer duct should be metal, not plastic, and should be correctly installed to vent directly outside. Keep it cleaned out and lint-free as well. Take it a step further, and regularly move your dryer to vacuum and sweep behind and under it.

No matter where your water heater and furnace are located, do not stack anything on top of them or around them, and be sure to keep all flammable materials away.

Purchase a fire extinguisher (or several), and store it near an escape route, NOT near a stove or an appliance. Always keep it out of the reach of children. If it is rechargeable, it must be inspected and serviced after each use per the manufacturer’s instructions. A disposable extinguisher is only good for one use.

Always be aware and alert in your kitchen. NEVER leave cooking food unattended in your oven or on your stovetop. Grease build-up is flammable, so remove it from your stovetop, your hooded fan and vent, and your oven broiler pan. Keep a pan lid handy that can be used to put out a pan fire. Do not remove a burning pan from the stove, as you may move the fire around the home.

Candles are wonderful for ambiance and aroma, but don’t leave them unattended. They should always be placed on a non-combustible surface, away from open windows, as well as papers, curtains and clothing. A window, a curtain and a candle make for a dangerous combination.

These are easy steps you can achieve, and taking minor precautions now can prevent the potential for major trouble later. We’ll continue our fire safety tips in the next issue, so stay tuned!

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